Not one of O'Brien's key works, this funny novella broadly satirizes the Gaelicism in literature and culture in Ireland. Of course O'Brien writes very well, but his brush here is VERY broad and his theme is squalor, mental and economic, and how easily people seem to be able to live in it. The village of Corkadorgha is a kind of Irish Dogpatch, but the story concentrates on a very small cast of characters, principly the narrator and his grandfather. A must (and quick) read for O'Brien cultists and fans, but worthwhile for anyone. It is full of great illustrations by Ralph Steadman.
This book is an eye opener. If you think you 'know' about poverty, you'll find out a whole lot more through the lives of these people. One of those books that leaves images in your mind to contemplate long after you've finished reading.
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